History of Apricot
The apricot, Prunus armónico, is a member of the rose family, along with peaches, plums, cherries, and almonds. The word apricot comes from the Latin praecocia meaning “precocious” or “early ripening.” Dried Apricot
It first appeared in English print in 1551. Alexander the Great says to have brought apricots from their native home in China to Greece in the fourth century B.C. The Arabs carried apricots to the Mediterranean, and the apricot became a main crop in Italy for centuries.
Franciscan friars brought the apricot to America in the late 1800s, where they thrived.
Today, the United States produces ninety percent of the world’s apricot crop, with ninety percent of that U.S. crop grown in the state of California.
There are hundreds of apricot varieties, but certain ones are more suitable for dried and processed fruits. Apricot trees are perfect for home gardens. They are easy to maintain, take up relatively little space, and the sweet-smelling flowers are an added benefit in spring.
In literature there are many different references to the origin of apricots, which makes it very confusing to try and discern their real origin: Loudon (1838) wrote that apricots originated from a wide region including not only Armenia, but also China, Japan, Caucasus and Himalaya.
Persians were also aware of apricots
, And the dried fruits were a widespread commodity on the Persian markets: today they are known as “Zard-alu”, in Iran, where they make up a very important slice of the fruit market.
After the Roman empire, several facts suggest that apricots had disappeared from Europe.
They are re-introduce there with the Arab invasion of Spain.
In 1542, during the time of Henry 8th, his gardener brought the apricot to England from Italy, and the biggest growing breakthrough is achieve by Lord Anson at Moor Park in Hertfordshire, producing the European favorite variety called Moor Park.
Australia is also a fairly large producer:
the most prolific region is South Australia, in the zone of My polonga, Lower Murray region, as well as the Riverland.
Other Australian states where apricots can be found are Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Victoria. Dried Apricot.
World production occurs generally in two broad bands between about 25° and 45° latitude, often in association with peaches, nectarines and plums. However, apricots are not as climatically adaptable as other stone fruits.
Individual varieties which grow well in one area often do not perform in other apricot production districts.
Apricots require a warm Mediterranean climate, needing cool to cold winters to break dormancy and warm to hot dry summers to mature fruit with minimal disease problems.
Fruit is subject to cracking in wet or humid weather.
Apricot trees flower early, exposing them to damage from spring frosts in many of the areas they are grown.
The tree is drought resistant (especially on apricot stock) but requires supplementary irrigation to reach its full yield potential. Dried Apricot.